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IEP Accommodations Not Customizable

TN Mom


I just received an email with the draft copy of our son's IEP for a meeting which is to be held Monday morning.

Included in the email was a line that read that "the school system's new IEP software doesn't allow for customized accommodations". What???

Isn't there the IEP adage that maintains that the "I" represents individualized.  How can this be? He's not a series of tick marks nor a "fill- in the- blanks".

Am I missing something here?

Please advise...

Thank you


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OMG! They actually said it out loud.....good grief!

Your gut instinct is correct. While I often say "nothing surprises me anymore" I am surprised. I can't believe that a software company would even sell such a product....nor that any district would spend money on it.

If your child's individualized accommodations and supports are not listed on the IEP, a parent letter of concern/rebuttal to their offer is warranted.

And I would include a sentence like "I am surprised that my school district would spend resources on a product that blatantly disallows the main cornerstone of IDEA--individualized." And something to the affect of "I'm am sorry that your software does not permit you to include my son's individualized components to his IEP, however, IDEA does not." 

And keep that email lol!

So here it is: https://sites.ed.gov/idea/topic-areas/#IEP

The cornerstone of the IDEA is the entitlement of each eligible child with a disability to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet the child’s unique needs and that prepare the child for further education, employment, and independent living. 20 U.S.C. §1400(d)(1)(A).

Under the IDEA, the primary vehicle for providing FAPE is through an appropriately developed IEP that is based on the individual needs of the child.

An IEP must take into account a child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, and the impact of that child’s disability on his or her involvement and progress in the general education curriculum.

IEP goals must be aligned with grade-level content standards for all children with disabilities.

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Thank you for you response and addd reference.  

They've offered to create a Word or Google document with the attached "customized" accommodations, however I feel a bit uneasy with this option. 

Would I be wrong in requesting that the meeting be tabled until this software "issue" is resolved?

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The school is missing something.  I'm aware of a student who needed a unique accommodation:  Reminders to use the bathroom every 2 hours during the school day.  This was needed for medical reasons throughout their attendance in K-12.  IMO, the school bought the wrong IEP software package because it doesn't comply with IDEA & state regs on IEPs.  Your district, from my perspective, is asking you to contact your state's Ed Law Center or Disability Rights group and develop a class action lawsuit against the software company and any of their clients.  This company is selling a defective product.  The product needs to be recalled.

I hope you wrote an email after the meeting to clarify that the software cannot accommodate customized accommodations.  I'd want this in writing so the attorneys at the Ed Law Center or Disability Rights group have proof of what's happening in your district.

There might also need to be a different process to pick IEP software.  My district had an open house where sp ed families got to check out the options before they settled on an IEP software package to go with.  I'm not sure how well they listened to the families' feedback but at least they had a seat at the table.

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